Video: Poisonous Fish
2023 Author: Molly Page | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 22:49
The forms of manifestation of fish toxicity are quite diverse. Some of them have poisonous organs, while others are only poisonous products of excretion. For example, scorpion fish pricks with thorns of spiny fins. Stingrays have special spines on the tail that are sharp and break when they hit the skin of the leg. Some fish are armed with numerous cutaneous unicellular venom glands, the venom of which is ingested by pricks of the fin needles.
The fish themselves do not attack a person, but they injure him if he holds a live, beating fish in his hands, steps on the lying on the bottom or shallowly buried in the sand.
Stalker, or sea cat
A stalker, or sea cat (Dasyatis pastinaca), is found in the Black Sea, has one or two powerful, but brittle, laterally serrated spines with a pair of longitudinal grooves on the tail. The grooves are filled with highly developed clusters of unicellular cutaneous glands, the secretion of which gets into the wound. In the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Asia, a giant stingray is widespread - Uralofoides with an upper tail spine 270 mm long and a lower one-280 mm.
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Wart (Synanceia verrucosa), a fish from the scorpion family, also has significant toxicity; lives in the Red Sea, off the coast of Java, Tahiti. The bare skin of the fish is covered with warts and leafy outgrowths, the muzzle is turned up. Its poisonous apparatus consists of 11-12 hard rays of the anterior part of the dorsal fin, 1-2 rays of the lateral and 3 rays - spines of the anal fin. Many rays of the wart are equipped with poisonous glands. The rays of the dorsal and hind fins are connected by a membrane, which also contains mucous glands. Awl-shaped rays with a thickened base, gradually tapering towards the top. The longest ones reach 40-50 mm. Shortly after the injection, acute pain occurs at the site of injury, redness and swelling appear. Fever and inflammation of the lymphatic vessels begin 5-7 minutes after injury. Poisoning increases during the first 6-8 hours, and after a day all signs of intoxication usually subside. Sometimes, at the site of the injection and penetration of the poison, an area of necrosis up to 2-3 mm in size appears. The penetration of pathogenic microbes into the wound causes an abscess and even phlegmon. Since the poison is absorbed after the injection, the rapid application of a tourniquet, often recommended for pricks with thorns, is not only not beneficial, but also harmful to the victim.
Black Sea Scorpionfish (Scorpaena porcus)
A good effect is obtained by blocking the place of penetration of the thorn during the first 10-15 minutes with a solution of novocaine. At a later date, chipping should be done away from the site of injury by fish rays. In addition to novocaine, other pain relievers are used: subcutaneous morphine. A specific serum for treatment has not yet been obtained. Injections with rays of a warthog in most cases do not lead to fatal poisoning, although individual deaths have been described. To protect against possible pricks of hands, fishermen are advised to disassemble the catch in special canvas gloves or mittens, wear special shoes. When cleaning fish, you should carefully cut off the thorny fins. Scuba divers who specifically hunt wart need to be very careful.
In our fauna, the sea ruff (Scorpaena porcus) and the sea dragon (Trachinus draco) have similar poisonous properties, but weaker.
The poisonousness of the sea ruff has been known for a long time. This fish is medium-sized and has a brownish-pinkish color. The spots on the back are dark brown; the eyes are set high and close together. The anterior part of the dorsal fin contains 11 rays, the posterior part contains 9. All rays of the anterior part of the dorsal fin have venom glands. They are also present on three spines of the pelvic fin. Ruff pricks cause prolonged painful inflammation.
The sea dragon lives off the coast of Europe, in the Black Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and elsewhere. Its sharp rays and thorns are covered with numerous, poisonous glands. The length of the fish is up to 40 cm. This lifestyle. Here the dragon lies in wait for other fish in ambush, buried in the sand.
Other waters, such as the sea snake or the viper (Chauliodus), often burrow into wet sand and wait for the tide to come. If you touch the fish, it immediately jumps out of the sand and wriggles. When pricked with a thorn, in severe cases of damage, a dead area may form. After its rejection, a slowly scarring ulcer remains. The victim is especially tormented by acute pain. A case is described when, having lost his composure, a man pricked by a snake cut off his finger. The victim is given oxygen, the poison is sucked out of the wound, the wound is washed with cold water with the addition of magnesium sulfate. Also helps injecting the wound (immediately after the injection) with novocaine and antibiotics as directed by the doctor. An anti-tetanus serum must be administered. The pain subsides a little if you keep your hand in cold water.
Even during the reign of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt, it was considered dangerous to eat the poisonous inhabitants of the sea. It was widely known: "That which does not have scales and fins is inedible for humans."
White-pointed fish dog (Takifugu niphobles)
In ancient Japan, emperors strictly forbade their soldiers to eat puffer fish, or tetradon (Takifugu, Lagocephalus, and Sphoeroides). The body of these fish is naked and has no scales. The puffer jaw consists of four chisel teeth. They are widespread in the Pacific Ocean (off the coast of Japan); sexual products (caviar, milk), liver and blood of fish are poisonous.
During James Cook's second voyage around the world, his ship landed on an island he called New Caledonia. In 1776, Cook and several members of the expedition landed in two boats. The sailors were greeted by a crowd of peaceful natives. One of the inhabitants of the island presented to the Europeans a large fish he had obtained with a spear.
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Cook ordered fish liver to be prepared for supper, but the taste was, according to the captain himself, disgusting. “At night I woke up from an unpleasant sensation,” Cook writes in his diary. “My arms and legs were numb, and I could not take a step without holding onto the walls of the cabin …”. The captain somehow got to the naturalists' cabin and found them in the same - deplorable state. “We were as pale as the dead, very weak, the body seemed insensible, and the chest seemed to be squeezed with hoops,” Cook continues. The next day, the patients did not feel better. The dizziness did not go away, and the pain did not stop, the poison was so strong that the sailors did not recover until the very departure.
To the Japanese, in whose waters the most dangerous representatives of the fugu live, they are known as the ball fish. In case of danger, the puffer swells greatly and floats on the surface of the sea with its belly up. Releasing air, the fish ball makes such eerie sounds that the locals mistake them for spells of evil spirits. How poisonous this fish is can be judged by an incident that occurred in Japan in 1947, when 470 people were killed after eating fugu dishes in special restaurants. Therefore, Japan has passed a law prohibiting the sale of fugu. Every cook, if he prepares food from this fish, must have a diploma from a special school. The graduate must, in the presence of spectators, eat several fugu dishes prepared by himself. Japanese toxicologists are studying the composition of the poison, named by Professor Tovarova tetraodotoxin.
Wart (Synanceia verrucosa)
Ernst Haeckel experienced the poisonousness of the ball fish while traveling in tropical countries. Once he dissected this fish, but after a few minutes, feeling unwell, he left the room. His beloved cats, taking advantage of the absence of the owner, ate the drug, but immediately paid for it with their lives. Fugu poison causes loss of sensation in the tongue, fingertips, and toes, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing and swallowing. Death occurs from paralysis of the respiratory muscles. Chemically pure tetraodotoxin was recently obtained. From one ton of fugu ovaries, 10 g of a pure, potent poison is extracted. At a concentration of 1: 2,000,000, it paralyzes the endings of nerve cells and acts as the arrow poison of curare. Since it relaxes the skeletal muscles, it can be used for long-term surgical operations and for wound tetanus. The fugu does not have special organs for the production and introduction of poison into the wound, therefore it is called passively poisonous.
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The Japanese scientist Koshio Hiyama sang interesting research. He found that most reef fish near the Marshall Islands of Micronesia are deadly poisonous to humans when eaten.
The marinka fish (Schizothorax) live in the rivers of Central, Central Asia and India, especially in the mountains. Its color is olive, the bottom is lighter, yellowish. Some specimens are dark in color. Fish length 30 cm, weight up to 500 g. The meat has a pleasant taste, but caviar, milk and black peritoneum are poisonous. For the winter, marinkas lie in pits, which is what the locals use to catch them. The meat of the marinoks is eaten only after it has been thoroughly cleaned of the entrails and black peritoneum. However, despite this, in the past there have been cases of mass poisoning of the population of Asia, who ate frozen fish.
Marinka (Schizothorax sp.)
The osman fish (Diptychus) is equally poisonous. The osman color is black-greenish, light yellow below, up to 70 cm long. Fins are dirty yellow with blurry dark spots. The peritoneum is black. Osman is widespread in the upper, faster courses of the rivers of Central and Central Asia, as well as India. The meat tastes good, but caviar and milk, like marinka, are poisonous. Dry poison, cyprinidine, was isolated from caviar and milk.
For centuries, the inhabitants of the islands of Oceania have known that you can eat certain species of fish caught in some areas, and not from others, because they are very poisonous there. Scientists have not yet been able to understand the mechanism of this mysterious phenomenon.
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In 1955-1956. in Japan, the Philippines and the islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, cases of massive severe poisoning have been reported due to the consumption of certain types of fish and shellfish (octopuses). More than 40 thousand people were injured. It was not possible to establish the cause of the poisonousness of previously completely edible fish.
The most probable explanation for the origin of the toxicity of many marine fish was given by B. Halstead (1967). Herbivorous fish become poisonous by feeding on highly poisonous algae, for example, blue-green - lingbia metacula (Lingbya). In turn, herbivorous fish are eaten by predatory fish, which, as if along a chain, transmit poisonousness to the person who ate them.
Literature: E F. F. Talyzin "Poisonous animals of land and sea." Znanie Publishing House, Moscow, 1970
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